wristwatch -- easy to read in sunshine?

I’m a small woman trying to select a practical, small wristwatch to wear while paddling. Something that’s easy to read even in bright sunshine. It’s silly to put down my paddle so I can use that hand to shade my wristwatch so I can read the darn dial in the sun’s glare. So … what kind of watch is readable in bright sunshine? Would a black or blue watch face work better than white? Some sport watches say they have “sapphire coated crystal”. Does that really matter?

I found white numbers on a black
background to be best.

Old School…
Try an old school analog watch…

waterproof of course…

My Swiss Army wtih black face & silver
hands & numbers is pretty easy to read, but it’s a man’s size, not a woman’s size.

Analog Casio diver’s watch
They make a smaller woman’s version too. Luminous hands & numbers and a light for nighttime.

Cheap Timex
I’ve had a cheap Timex Expedition that you can pick up at Target or similar stores that’s been going strong for about 4 years. Never comes off. It’s just a basic digital watch with black digits on a whitish/gray background. Never had any issues reading it in any light. I’d say it’s normal sized. Small compared to a lot of the huge ones you see anymore.


Thanks, everyone! I followed your advice and found an analog dial, black background with white/glow in the dark hands and numbers. Slightly smaller than the ladies’ swiss army watch and much cheaper. (Even the ladies size swiss army is too big for my wrist.) It’s water resistant, but not a bona-fide “diving” watch. Sounds sturdy enough for paddling and temporary submersion at shallow depths. I ordered it online, hoping it will arrive in time for paddling on Labor Day Weekend. Thanks again!

Another option is to
eschew the watch and live by the sun and the moon. Works pretty well actually.

Which watch?
You described your choice but didn’t name the model. What did you end up with?

They last for quite a while and the hands are easy to read…and most have an illuminating material stripe on each hand.

Agree, if you can find a good one
I’ve not seen many suitable women’s waterproof analog watches. Occasionally they pop up in Campor catalogs. I had one that was OK but still not that readable in bright sunshine because it had a convex glass and low-contrast numbers on a white background. Should’ve been black on white instead. I think mine was a Swiss Army model.

The Freestyle so-called surfer’s watch I bought to replace that one barely lasted a few outings before water got into the watch–good thing I bought it from REI.

I’m back to using a long-running Casio men’s digital watch, which I’ve had good luck with. But they’re not great for visibility in sunlight, esp. when wet.

your ride that you need to be picked up when the shadow meets the groundhog is a bit imprecise though.

Not to mention overcast days (nm)

Black face watch w/white hands & markers
Get a dive style watch - black face w/white or luminous hands and numbers/markers. I’ve got one and can read it very easily while paddling. Lots to choose from. Look for something like an Omega Seamaster knockoff (Invicta makes a nice one).

Dive watch
Look for the Momentum brand. They sell a perfect, small dive watch. It is not very heavy and mine has a Velcro watch band that I take surfing.

Pyle Sports Track Watch
With digital compass, chronograph, pacer and countdown timer for $29.15 from Amazon.

Unfortunately, it isn’t available anymore, but it is the watch my 16 year old daughter uses every day for the past 4 years when paddling and racing.

The numbers are big and readily visible on your wrist while paddling. The best feature is the metronome pacer that will help you maintain a 50 spm canoe stroke or 80 spm kayak stroke. Of course, if you’re going to the Olympics, you can use it to get you up to 3 strokes per second if you want?

Shop around, it might still be available?

ps: we’ve tried the other Pyle models, but this one is the most rugged.